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I need to find user-profile using the active directory email account.

Note: its not the 'work-email' but the email in AD.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

SPUtility.ResolvePrincipal can do this - but I can't guarantee that it'll be fast.

It should be something like:

SPPrincipcalInfo user = SPUtility.ResolvePrincipal( webApp, null, "email", SPPrincipalType.User, SPPrincipalSource.Windows, true);
UserProfileManager profileManager = new UserProfileManager(serviceContext);
if (profileManager.UserExists(user.LoginName))
    UserProfile userProfile = profileManager.GetUserProfile(user.LoginName);

In this "email" would be your email string. It definitely works, but I have has some issues with speed. It's worth testing.

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I get the following Error:: No Overload for the method ResolvePrincipal takes 5 arguments – user6194 Dec 29 '11 at 15:06
Oops, yes, forgot the second parameter, which can be null - updated example. – Andy Burns Jan 4 '12 at 16:21

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